kangarooToday we salute the Land Down Under. 236 years ago today, on January 26, 1788, a British fleet entered Sydney Cove in what is now New South Wales, Australia, and Captain John Hunter declared it a great place to build a futuristic opera house someday, making today


Six of the 11 ships were filled with prisoners, convicted criminals the British were looking to dump off in America, but losing the American Revolution put the kibosh on that idea.

Their solution? Establish a new British Colony with convicts in a remote mini-continent on the other side of the planet!

Out of habit, they planted their flag and claimed the whole shebang, coast to coast, for Great Britain, then kicked the convicts to the curb to work their lives away in a penal colony with some English fop named Arthur Philips as their governor, a man who okayed hunting the native Melanesian inhabitants like wild game and stealing their land, a time honored European tradition.

Long story short, the convicts decided to stop killing “Aborigines,” named every woman “Sheila,” then went mainstream, and Australia became a First World nation famous for kangaroos, boomerangs, platypus, dingos, doomed alligator hunters, an impenetrable accent filled with nonsensical slang, and being the most happy-go-lucky people you will ever meet.

Scientists have determined that their almost indecipherable brand of English is caused by blood rushing to their heads as a result of living upside down on the bottom of the world. They do, however, have the best national song on earth, a drinking song called “Waltzing Matilda.”

No worries, mate!

•Suggested Activities: Taking a Sheila to a barbie on the strand.

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